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1/30/2013
03:17 PM
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Judge Won't Triple $1.05B Verdict Against Samsung

In patent battle, Apple had sought "willful infringement" decision in motion following August jury trial; more wrangling ahead.

Samsung Galaxy Note II: Visual Tour
Samsung Galaxy Note II: Visual Tour
(click image for larger view and for slideshow)
U.S. District Court Judge Lucy Koh ruled Tuesday that Samsung had not willfully violated the six patents of which it has already been found guilty of infringing in a jury trial last August.

A follow-up Apple motion in the trial had sought a ruling that Samsung had knowingly continued to infringe the patents after Apple first informed it that it was doing so. If upheld, that motion could have led to a tripling of a $1.05 verdict against Samsung.

Judge Koh issued a series of four orders Tuesday night that carefully analyzed each side's claims that the jury had wrongly considered the evidence and misapplied patent law in the case. Koh again showed she was loathe to overturn the jurors' decision and argued that the jury had acted to interpret patent law correctly.

"Accordingly, the trial was fairly conducted, with uniform time limits and rules of evidence applied to both sides. A new trial would be contrary to the interests of justice," she wrote in her decision, according to the Associated Press.

[ Want to learn more about what was at stake in the Apple vs. Samsung case? See Apple Beats Competitors With Design -- And Design Patents. ]

Judge Koh's ruling, however, was only a small victory for Samsung. The jury's $1.05 billion verdict was upheld again, and a Samsung motion for a retrial on different issues was refused. The judge has yet to rule on Samsung's motion that the jury's method of calculating damages in specific instances was flawed and should be adjusted downward. The District Court case in San Jose is part of a worldwide legal battle between the two leading smartphone makers that has seen trials in Germany, Korea and England as well as the U.S. IDC market research recently showed that the two companies control over half of the worldwide smartphone market. It showed Apple with 22% and Samsung with 29% in 2012.

Samsung is believed to be preparing to appeal the San Jose case to the Federal Circuit Court of Appeals.

Apple also has filed suit seeking a second trial versus Samsung for Samsung's current generation of products. That trial is scheduled to take place in the San Jose courtroom in 2014.

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